Zain Africa Challenge FAQ

What is Zain Africa Challenge?

Zain Africa Challenge is an academic quiz programme involving universities in Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.  The 2009-2010 year is the fourth year of the programme.

University teams in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda met in their home countries on 12 November to compete in Qualifying Tournaments. Teams in Ghana, Malawi, Sierra Leone and Zambia met to compete on 16 November and teams in Nigeria competes on 6 January.

The top teams from those competitions advanced to the Zain Africa Challenge Championship Festival, held 28 January - 3 February in Kampala, Uganda.  Those final 32 teams first played in a country-specific playoff. The final 16 teams played a knockout tournament, with 15 programmes being recorded for television broadcast throughout the region from March, 2010.

How were the universities chosen?

All chartered and accredited universities in Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia who meet the criteria are eligible to participate. Universities in Nigeria were selected through a collaboration with Zain and the Nigerian National Universities Commission (NUC). Eligible universities must complete the online enrollment form.

How are the university teams selected?

The competition began at the universities in September 2009.  Each university conducted Student Tryout Tests.  From those tests, 12-20 students were selected to be members of the Zain Africa Challenge Scholars Club.  Club members met and practiced together for 1-2 weeks.  The coach then selected the university's Zain Africa Challenge Scholars Team.  Team members are limited to one year of International Championship Festival participation and must meet player eligibility requirements.

How is the game played?

Zain Africa Challenge is a fast-paced game involving three students on each of two teams.  There are four rounds in each programme.  During each of the first three rounds, one student from each of the two teams compete head-to-head, playing face-off questions.  The players rotate between rounds so that each of the three players will compete in one face-off round.  When a player correctly answers a 10 point face-off, that team receives a 20 point bonus question on which they all confer.  Each face-off round is approximately 4 minutes in length (3 minutes in the Computerized version and at the Qualifying Tournaments).  After the third round, both teams play the Ultimate Challenge round where they attempt to answer 10 questions in 60 seconds. For more information, consult the game rules and sample questions pages.

What are the prizes?

Grants are based on each university team's final standing in the competition.  The further a university's team advances, the larger the grant the university receives.  Grants for the individual recipients (four students plus the coach and liaison) are also based on the university team's finish in the tournament.  Zain is awarding $1,000,000 USD in total cash, travel grants and educational materials. Additional information is available on the Zain Grants page.


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